How I Made the Decision to Have A Baby

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oh where to start. as i have mentioned previously, my husband has been ready for a baby for literally years. i have not been ready for that long, actually i have not been ready for 98% of that time. that is another post for another day but i can tell you it has been one of the tougher things we have faced in our marriage. so how did i make the decision to have a baby?

here i sit with a growing belly that isn’t due to me ignoring the fact i’m lactose intolerant and still eating ice cream but rather because i’m growing a human. wild. did we “accidentally” get pregnant? actually, i think that is an oxymoron because while a pregnancy may be unplanned, there is no accident because sex is in fact, how you get pregnant (or in vitro).

the decision to have a baby

this wasn’t the case for us. this was a planned, intentional pregnancy and as i wrote about friday, i am so incredibly grateful to have a choice in my reproductive rights.

so how did i get to this point? i don’t mean the actual act because ya know, i’m not going to talk about that and we all know how that happened. so what changed for me?

plain and simple – i went away. i went away from my family, my friends, from social media and i spent uninterrupted time both with my husband and more importantly, with myself. this process started when we traveled to our 6th continent of south america and adventured through buenos aires, argentina last november. as we explored this beautiful city and took in the sights, we kept seeing the names of the future children we talked about having. they are pretty unique names (currently being kept under-wraps) so it was strange and bizarre to see them and often times quite literally a sign.

IMG_8458 cafes

we stopped for lunch at a cute cafe and started having yet another conversation about kids, our lifestyle, and what we wanted our lives to look like. i wish i could tell you that this conversation was light and airy and while it eventually ended up that way – i totally cried at the table because i tend to do that when i have intense conversations.

i have never taken the choice to have a baby lightly and i have also never been driven by the “emotional pull” so many women talk about. when i hold babies, my ovaries don’t scream out that i need a baby immediately. there has never been an urgency in my biological make up that makes me think i need a baby sooner than later. i simply haven’t felt those things. i have thought it would be fun to be a parent specifically with my husband but there has never been an urgency to it.

on our walk back to our hotel, we grabbed a bottle of malbec (which i am currently salivating at the thought of) and continued the procreation talk from the rooftop deck of where we were staying. this conversation felt different because i felt as though my husband was fully understanding how much more the decision to have a baby will initially effect me than him.

don’t get me wrong, i am married to a man who is passionate about communication and we both work hard to have this be a top priority in our marriage but in the past i had felt like he wasn’t fully grasping how much more i would have to sacrifice than him initially. it was that day when i felt as though he fully understood how much more of an impact this would have on me than him during pregnancy and the first few months when my body keeps the tiny human alive.

IMG_8502 happy hour

i felt heard, i felt validated and i felt respected by him. that moved me oh so much closer to making the decision to feeling a bit more ready to start the process.

our travels moved farther south from buenos aires to the “the most southern city in the world” of ushuaia, argentina. we moved from a bustling city to a serene and reflective place. the ridiculously gorgeous hotel we stayed at aided in me taking time to reflect on my true desires of wanting to expand our families.


if you have been reading for a while, then you know our next stop from here was venturing to our 7th continent of antarctica.

the farther we traveled, the more solitude and clarity i experienced. we were literally out of touch (except for our map to dreaming big event) for 12 days. i felt freed from the pressures of well-meaning friends and family either saying “have kids already – it’s the most amazing thing ever!” as well “don’t have kids yet, keep doing what you are doing!”

when this is your constant view, your soul and mind naturally tend to swirl around in a reflective state.

IMG_8294 frame mountain penguins

not only did i feel this new sense of confidence in conquering some serious anxiety about traveling here, but i felt so satisfied and proud of the hard work my husband and i put in to get to that point.

i sat in a secluded corner of the boat, sipping tea and gazing out the window into the blinding white of the snow. i started getting really real with myself about how i wanted the rest of my life to look. i came to the realization that i will never be guided by “that feeling” of intensely needing to have a baby. it’s not going to happen for me and that’s okay. it was then i accepted that i would have to make a rational decision, one that is not based on an emotional feeling. this was odd because i am an incredibly high-feelings and high-emotions person but for this case, it would be a clear-headed choice.

Chelsea Avery - Founder of The New Wifestyle

as i gazed at the glaciers, a conversation my husband and i had a few months earlier with an insanely successful business/family man popped into my head. he said, “my wife and i live our life with our children, not for them.” that helped to calm some of my anxiety with feeling like i might never have my own life again but will be sucked into the vortex of having to live solely for children. we get to design our life and we get to try things, adjust them and figure out what works for us.

the final piece that solidified my decision to expand our family is a key piece and that was considering who i would co-parent with, my husband. i distinctly remember meeting him as a tall, lanky, goofy guy when he was 19 and i knew immediately that should he ever become a dad, he would be the very best dad. we share the same values, he is ambitious, he is kind, we complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and he has really nice teeth (that’s important to me).


am i saying you have to travel all the way to antarctica to get clear on if you are ready to have a baby? of course not – though i do highly recommend it.

i would encourage you to find a secluded spot, away from family, friends and even your spouse to take the time and space to work through what you as an individual, want. what you discover about what you truly desire may freak you out initially, but it also provides you with a sense of calm because you are secure with what you deeply desire and only you can truly know that.

teds clothiers denver kissing

ps. as my friend kate said to me “i think you’ve reached a new level when people want to know where this baby was conceived!” ha, suffice it to say this was an antarctica-inspired baby, our little penguin!

the decision to have a baby


  1. Claire Bickel

    March 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

    First of all, I don’t think I have said congratulations yet – YAY for Baby Avery!

    On to the more important topic – television ;). I just watched an episode of Life in Pieces (my most recent tv obsession) and one of the storylines was all about looking for signs indicating it’s time to get pregnant. Given the topic of today’s post I think you might find it amusing. You should be able to find the episode on the CBS website, it’s called ‘Tattoo Valentine Guitar Pregnant’.

  2. Amberly

    March 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Thank you for sharing this!!! I really liked hearing how this decision came about 🙂 Like I said last week, you two are going to be great parents and I know that you will take this little one and continue to live your life WITH them! 🙂
    Amberly recently posted…Parenting Can Strengthen Your Marriage

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      thank you amberly – i appreciate you reading and for your kind comment! i know we will for sure have fun (most of the time) with our new adventure and i’m so grateful to get to do it with him!

  3. Paige

    March 7, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Whoa. Thank you. I, too, haven’t had the urgency – ovary screaming feeling all my friends talk about. At 36, I’m still waiting for it. Maybe that will change. Maybe not. To me, it’s seems illogical to make a rational decision on making a human!! But such is the trappings of an overly analytical mind!

    But Thank You for this post. You’ve articulated it in a way my rational self can understand, instead of an ambivalent feeling I can’t identify with.
    Paige recently posted…So, what’s the plan?

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      thanks for your comment paige and glad we can relate to each other about never having that feeling! i realized that i do want to raise some kids with my spouse but yet that “sign” of the “feeling” never came so i had to resolve to let that go. glad your rational self could identify with what i felt in the process because goodness knows i can be a feeler 🙂

  4. Rachel @ Countdowns and Cupcakes

    March 7, 2016 at 10:54 am

    This is one of the best things I’ve read in a very long time! I don’t think deciding to become a mom (or a dad) can be an entirely emotional decision. There has to be rational thought behind it because your lives change quite drastically! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I look forward to hearing these very unique baby names.
    Rachel @ Countdowns and Cupcakes recently posted…Getting My Next Fashion Fix: Stitch Fix Recap #17

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      wow rachel! thank you for reading and for that comment! agreed that it is such a huge life change that we do need some rationale behind it 🙂 part of me was hoping i would get that “baby feeling sign” like maybe that would mean i was super “ready” or something but from your comment, it’s made me appreciate the analytical side coming in. thank you!

  5. Amanda

    March 7, 2016 at 10:58 am

    This just might be my most favorite post you have ever written, Chelsea. I felt calm and serene and confident (for you!) in reading it, and it was oh so insightful and fascinating. I love how this all happened for you and how you approached the decision. Truly amazing. You continue to inspire me!

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      daaaang wow thank you amanda! i feel honored that you think this is one of the better posts i’ve written (!). it was one of those scary ones to put out there at first but now i feel proud that i shared authentically about my personal experience so i appreciate you reading/commenting. i hope you are doing wellllll

  6. Suzanne

    March 7, 2016 at 11:25 am

    You’re not having a baby, Chelsea. You and Ryan are having another “relationship” with someone you will get to know from the first breath. And THAT is the amazing thing about your choice. You will know it the first time you hold that relationship in your arms. The baby moments are oh-so-lovely and oh-so-fast. Relish every moment. And then twenty years later, you’ll be nurturing that relationship along as he or she heads off to college and meet his or her future mate and the wonderful cycle of life continues!

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      oh interesting about the ‘relationship’ side of things, suzanne! right you are (but i do still think i have to birth a baby at some point) 🙂 i am very excited to feel this instant connection and it’s pretty insane how much we already love this little lemon-sized thing inside of me though we have no idea who she/he will be! thanks for sharing part of your journey – i know you are a proud mama to some truly outstanding people!

  7. Erin @ Very Erin

    March 7, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I love this! I also have never felt that biological need to have a baby, and I’m totally okay with that! However, I do believe I’ll want to have children someday with my husband. But I hate this assumption that we HAVE to have kids. And at 25, and having been married less than a year, we actually have people who ask WHY I’m not pregnant yet.
    Erin @ Very Erin recently posted…How to Create a Night Time Routine for the Best Night’s Sleep

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      yuck, i’m sorry that not only are people wondering when you’ll have kids but why you haven’t yet! that is so invasive and i’m sorry you have to deal with crap like that erin! i sort of always knew i’d want to have kids with my husband too but a part of me kept waiting for this “feeling” to emerge to show me i was ready and that may not come for either of us and that’s okay! glad you’re okay with that feeling already!

  8. Elyse

    March 7, 2016 at 11:30 am

    It’s amazing what happens when you detach from the world. It’s a reminder to myself to unplug the phone every once in a while!

    Thanks to your announcement we’ve had some more serious talks about when which luckiiy is keeping my biological clock from exploding.

    I readily admit I always knew I would have kids. Whether it was my strict Catholic upbringing(which means I didn’t even realize childless by choice was an option!) or my general love of kids, I honestly don’t know but I do know that my biological clock has always been on overdrive! I’m thankful my husband and I have always been on the same page. We want kids, it’s the when that we’ve differed but we are on the same page now and I think that will make it all the better experience!

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      it was sort of astounding how freeing (after getting over the initial anxiety of being ‘off the grid’) and just how much energy our phone takes up.

      i am so happy you and your husband have been able to have more conversations around the kid front – yay!

      i think that’s also okay (i mean, duh it’s okay) that you do feel those emotions and biological clock feelings, part of me wishes i had those feelings because i kept waiting for them as a ‘sign.’ my husband actually described his feelings as they ramped up over the years as his biological clock being like “spreeead the seeeed duuuude!” i found that super interesting that he felt that on a biological level! so so so happy to hear that you and your boo-thang are on the same page now, elyse 🙂 that makes my heart happy because i know how upsetting for both people not being on the same time line can be!

  9. Sara

    March 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I have always thought that I would have kids, but I don’t have that intense feeling of needing children either. And with working with kids for many years, there were definitely days that I would rethink even wanting them at all, lol. Right now being just married I want my husband to myself for awhile.
    Sara recently posted…4 Steps to a Memorable Weekend Getaway

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      haha oh i am sure when you are surrounded by kids you see the very worst and the very best of them sara! i totally get where you are coming from of wanting your husband to yourself – i am of the personal belief to stretch that time out for as long as you can! it will only enhance the marriage that you create together 🙂

  10. Rebecca James

    March 7, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    <3. That's all I can say!

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      aw thanks rebecca 🙂

  11. jennifermckennasays

    March 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I love this post! You are always so authentic with your words and I appreciate that so much. I love that listening to yourself in the silence helped you gain clarity. You owned how you felt about it and made a rational decision.

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      i appreciate your comment and for you taking the time to read it jennifer! it was a tad scary to publish this one because being authentic is scary (but rewarding thanks to good people like yourself)!

  12. Vivien

    March 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing chelsea! 🙂

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      thank you for reading vivien! happy monday 🙂

  13. Paula Howley

    March 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    This is definitely one of your best posts Chelsea- the subject matter is SO important and the way you articulated it was perfect. I could feel the changes, or rather the CLARITY happening in your mind. I’m really thrilled that you were able to come to this kind of peace!
    Paula Howley recently posted…Where’ve you been?

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      thank you paula! i am glad my articulation came across, sometimes i fear i will ramble and it will only make sense to me (which, isn’t the worst thing either). it was a scary and then very freeing process to get to that clarity! thanks for being excited, reading and commenting!

  14. Rachel G

    March 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve always wanted kids…Angel’s wanted them only since he met me, because he thinks I’m that awesome. I didn’t necessarily pick Angel because I think he’ll make an awesome dad…but I bet he’ll be a ‘memorable’ one since he’s so…unique. I’m very much a ‘happy no matter what’ kind of person, and I hope I’ll always be that way whatever life brings–happy with kids, happy without. I’ve never had a sense of really ‘needing’ anything to be happy, and I do have a high value for being content regardless of circumstances.
    Rachel G recently posted…A Wedding in Malaysia

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      that’s pretty awesome that he wants kids specifically because the two of you found each other! i’d say that’s a pretty solid compliment 🙂 that is so good to have that ‘happy no matter what’ outlook and mindset, rachel. oh what a wonderful and more satisfying world many might live in if more of us felt that 🙂

  15. Audrey

    March 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Ok, you know I love that picture of you and your husband on the rooftop… but now I love it even more knowing that such wonderful, growing, life-changing conversations surrounded that photo!!

    I really, really love that this was a rational choice for you. I have never had the yearning deep down in my ovaries that tells me I must be a mother. It’s made me question whether or not I should even have kids. When K told me that he’s ready for kids I was caught totally off guard. I’m really really grateful for your vulnerability with this post. Thanks for sharing, Chelsea 🙂
    Audrey recently posted…Blog Blues and Blog Favorites

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      don’t my eyes seriously look different?! it sort of freaks me out to look at that picture on the rooftop because i’m like “who’s eyes did they put in my head?!” 🙂

      i felt that too audrey about not having that ‘feeling’ equating to maybe not be a good more or if i should even have kids. now i’ve determined (and from lots of helpful comments on this post and the biological clock one) that there is the whole spectrum on what women feel when choosing to have a kid!

      also, totally know how you felt when the husband comes to you and says “kid ready!” and you’re like “um. wait. what. back away slowly…” ha! thanks for your thoughts and your comment, audrey – yours are always appreciated deeply!

  16. Stazi

    March 7, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    This was a great post to read! However, I do want to contend the “initially” part of how much more it takes from you than him. It’s a societal thing where the woman is the main caregiver – even the most thoughtful and conscientious dad is going to fall back on this. If you are breastfeeding, you will be exerting way more effort than he is (and make sure he knows he needs your support!)

    Luckily you both work well together, but a lot of women take it upon themselves to do everything since dad has to work, shoving down the fact that they do too! Moms do a TON when it comes to their kids – laundry, play time, nursing, baths, a million tiny little things that don’t seem like much but really do add up. Having a child really does put WAY more on the mom – I wouldn’t change it, but it would be nice were it recognized. Watch couples together – who is it assumed has care of the baby? It’s an interesting thing to see.

    • chelsea

      March 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      thanks for reading and for you comment stazi! i think i am cautious and used the world ‘initially’ because that’s what i know for certain certain that i have to birth it and breastfeed it and then who knows how things will pan out for us. i absolutely agree though that women almost always bear WAY more of the brunt of still having to keep up with child rear and home keeping just as often as they did “back in the day” except now many of us are working as well!

      it will definitely be something that is on our radar but i also know that i will be taking on a larger portion of child rearing in the first year or so while he continues to travel to keynote and train. thankfully we have more control over our jobs and hopefully we can develop a new business model that will keep us both home more often! that was also part of the reason to move back to CO so i can have family support because i know me and i know i need time to work and time to myself in a baaad sort of way!

      also – i recognize you and you are a badass mama and woman so high fives! thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • Stazi

        March 8, 2016 at 9:28 pm


        Having support (family) means so, so much because it really does take a villge. Sometimes you just want 10 minutes to shower and eat something without trying to keep from dropping it on the baby (or sharing with a toddler).

        I don’t know if it is societal, cultural, or inherent, but even with super amazing dads, more falls to the mom. We hover more? We are more aware? No idea, but it happens. You also have more of the gooey “o.m.g. look at this amazing thing I made and kept alive WITH NOTHING BUT MY BODY” so it isn’t all bad 🙂 Just the way things work.

        IF you need help while ravery is away, I’d be happy to help! I’m still just tickled that you are expecting. It’s pretty freaking neat.
        Stazi recently posted…Cd13

        • chelsea

          March 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

          just saw this comment and thank you so much for your offer of help – that really means a lot especially since this whole world is unknown to me 🙂

  17. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    March 8, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Obviously I love this so much! What’s funny is when you commented on my pregnancy announcement on Instagram I was wondering if you were still wanting to wait/not feeling ready to have kids and the just a few days later… Also, your Antartica pictures just make me think of where did you go Bernadette? Oh and I love that you’re having a penguin baby, ours is a Bali baby that will be born in Australia. Oh and I can’t wait to hear your baby names. I saw our boy name on the side of a random apartment the other day and I told Trav it was a sign that’s it’s a boy.
    Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} recently posted…Weekending in Sydney

    • chelsea

      March 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

      yay pregnancy twins! oh i totally read “WYGB” before we left and they actually did a decent job especially explain the british souvenir shop (though the girls don’t sleep there, they have a much nicer and private little hut behind it). awww bali baby born in OZ how fun!!!

  18. Annette

    March 8, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Beautiful story…it’s okay to be unsure…I found a slip of paper in my belongings one day and it layed out my life…oh my, it’s exactly how it played out! It read that I may have one child…I did…and yes, like many others, it was the best thing I did…but what I really wanted to say was, after she was born, the clock literally stop ticking…very few could understand that…Sounds like you went with your gut! Congrats!

    • chelsea

      March 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

      thank you for reading and your comment, annette! right you are that it’s okay to be unsure (even if that’s not my favorite feeling to feel). glad you found your path and are loving it!

  19. Charlene

    March 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    So this is a very important topic and I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I mentioned in a comment on a previous post that I am not ready for a baby and I too do not have the “biological clock” emotions that so many women seem to have. So what I want to comment on for this post is… Were you freezing in that last picture??? How did you do that?? I think wearing a sleeveless dress in Antarctica is a bigger feat than birthing a baby! (I kid, of course. But still…)
    Charlene recently posted…What I’m Up to in March {2016}

    • chelsea

      March 17, 2016 at 10:46 am

      i appreciate your comment, charlene! as for the photo – yes it was absolutely freezing and everyone was yelling at my husband that he should take off his coat too because that just wasn’t fair. although what was colder than that was then jumping into antarctic water a few moments later 🙂

  20. Steph G

    March 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m a 30 year old without children and I find it so interesting when people share their idea of “ready” – it hits close to home. Congrats on your new adventure!

    • chelsea

      March 17, 2016 at 10:48 am

      thank you steph for your comment and i so feel you! do what feels best to you 🙂

  21. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    March 14, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I love this. You really have to think through such a decision because it is life changing! Like I said before, you two are going to be fantastic parents who will raise a strong, self-sufficient daughter or a strong, kind hearted son. Are you going to become the new momstyle in 9 months? 😉
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…An Incomplete List of Gratitude

    • chelsea

      March 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      thanks nina 🙂 glad you see it that way too because these are some life changing choices being made!! thanks for your kind words about how our child will hopefully come out! hah maybe i need to get that domain too!

  22. Heather

    March 14, 2016 at 11:02 am

    It’s good to make the decision, intentionally, and to know for sure it’s the right one for you. As a parent of six children (each of whom was intentionally planned and intensely wanted) there are definitely times when I think, “What have I done?!” Having that choice/knowledge to reflect back on is essential.
    I am a new reader to your blog, and have really enjoyed it so far.
    Oh, and congratulations!

    • chelsea

      March 17, 2016 at 10:51 am

      thank you heather! my grandmas was in town and read this and said “wow you really do think through a lot of these big decisions” and that is indeed accurate! sounds like you do the same, especially with 6 children! appreciate you reading and for your comment!

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